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News from the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King's


More new ESRC funded work: Schools & Safeguarding
29 June 2017

We are delighted to announce that Social Care Workforce Research Unit (SCWRU) in the Policy Institute at King’s College London and the School of Education, Communication and Society (SECS) in the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy (SSPP) at King’s College London have been awarded a grant by the Economic and Social Research Council to examine how schools are supported and engaged in multi-agency work to protect and safeguard children (from 1 April 2017 until 30 September 2019). 

The overall aims of the project are to investigate the nature and quality of:

  • contemporary safeguarding practice within schools 
  • schools’ engagement with other agencies in child protection practice

The lead researchers are: Professor Jill Manthorpe, Director, Social Care Workforce Research Unit, is the Principal Investigator. Dr Mary Baginsky, Senior Research Fellow, Social Care Workforce Research Unit and Dr Jenny Driscoll, Programme Director, Child Studies, School of Education, Communication and Society are the Co-Investigators.

Over the 30 months we shall address these issues through surveys and in-depth case studies, after an initial stage when we shall be talking with key stakeholders and conducting a scoping review. 

New ESRC Grant - Sustainable Care: Connecting people and systems
29 June 2017

Unit colleagues Jill Manthorpe and Shereen Hussein are delighted to be working with  Professor Sue Yeandle of the University of Sheffield and her colleagues to  investigate how social care arrangements, currently deemed to be 'in crisis', can be made sustainable. The new programme, announced today by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) led by Sue Yeandle and including the University of Birmingham and a range of international partners, will focus on the care needs of adults living at home with long-term health problems or disabilities and seek to find sustainable solutions which can deliver wellbeing outcomes and address problems with the system. This large ESRC grant reflects the current policy interest in care, both that provided by families but also by social care staff. 

Professor Yeandle said: ‘Our programme will fill knowledge gaps, contribute new theoretical ideas and data analyses, and provide useful, accurate evidence to inform care planning, provision and experience. It will develop and critically engage with policy and theoretical debates about all aspects of social care.’ The expertise of the Social Care Workforce Research Unit will be of particular relevance to the programme's work on labour markets, migration, and workforce data. ‘We very much look forward  to  working with partners, including Carers UK, on this programme of research,’ added Jill Manthorpe. "We will be advertising a PhD studentship shortly and a research assistant post in the coming months; for both we will be looking for high quality candidates.’ Please follow the Unit for further details of the programme and for research opportunities.

Unit Director on Safeguarding Adults Reviews
22 June 2017

Jill Manthorpe met with Southwark Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) at a workshop convened to consider the Board's work-plan and strategy for the coming year. This was attended by senior representatives of the local authority, health services, the police and probation services. She presented an analysis of  adult safeguarding developments, drawing on the Unit's studies of adult safeguarding research, policy and practice. Jill linked her  presentation to the subjects covered in the SAB’s recent annual report and to some of the findings and recommendations from its newly published Safeguarding Adults Review. The morning ended with discussion about possible priorities and the resources needed to address current and future challenges. 

Research project on younger people living with dementia
21 June 2017

Today Jill Manthorpe chaired a meeting of the study advisory group of the Angela Project: Improving diagnosis and post diagnostic support for younger people living with dementia and their caregivers. Funded by the Alzheimer's Society with researchers from UCL, Northampton, Bradford and Worcester universities, the study is led by Prof Janet Carter of UCL. The advisory group meets regularly to support the research team and offers guidance and ideas where appropriate.

New study: Who wants to be an Approved Mental Health Professional?
19 June 2017

SCWRU have been commissioned by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme to examine why the AMHP role is being taken up by so few professionals other than social workers. The project runs to the end of 2017. Project page

Forced marriage workshop
15 June 2017

The forced marriage workshop, with special reference to people with learning disabilities, drew thirty-five attendees, mostly social workers, to King's today. It was led by leading experts in the field, Rachael Clawson and Rachel Fyson of the University of Nottingham and was part of this year's learning disability services series convened by Dr Martin Stevens. Presentation. Twitterpic

The impact of personal budgets and Direct Payments on unpaid carers of older people
14 June 2017

John Woolham, Senior Research Fellow at the Social Care Workforce Research Unit, presented findings from a research study exploring the impact of personal budgets and Direct Payments on unpaid carers of older people. John argued that personal budgets and Direct Payments offered older people and their unpaid carers some flexibility around caregiving that enabled caregivers to stay in paid employment or to fulfil other caring responsibilities. He also pointed out that in this study most unpaid carers who cared for an older person with a personal budget remained highly involved in support planning and providing care, though the kinds of care they provided sometimes changed. The presentation foregrounded the need for Adult Social Care Departments to provide clear information to enable choices about services to be properly informed. It also emphasized the necessity for Care Managers and Social Workers to exercise discretion about the information they provided about personal budgets and Direct Payments according to the mental capacity of the older person and the circumstances of the carer. John also drew attention to an apparent paradox in which Direct Payments, though intended to promote better personalisation, also had the effect of making the budget holder’s relationship with the Adult Social Care Department more distant. The evidence from the research also suggested that more unpaid carers who supported an older person with the management of a Direct Payment experienced high levels of stress – possibly because of the amount of paperwork involved, and the administrative burden. The study also found that only one in five carers had ever received an assessment of need in their own right.

The 12 seminar participants described and discussed varied approaches as to how Direct Payments and personal budgets were provided in their local authorities and how unpaid carers could be actively supported in their caring role. This was the last in the current Perspectives series. Presentation.

New from Shereen Hussein
14 June 2017

Principal Research Fellow Shereen Hussein's new article, ‘We don’t do it for the money’...  The scale and reasons of poverty-pay among frontline long term care workers in England. Health and Social Care in the Community. DOI: 10.1111/hsc.12455 is just out. It derives from two DH funded projects: Longitudinal Care Work Study and the secondary analysis of the NMDS-SC.

At the International Longevity Centre UK
6 June 2017

The International Longevity Centre (ILC) UK held its research advisory group today, in central London. Unit director Jill Manthorpe is a regular contributor to this group which is composed of social gerontologists and medical specialists in geriatric care. 

NIHR Research Design Services and Social Care
5 June 2017

Jill Manthorpe was invited to speak to the East of England NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) in Cambridge today about specific initiatives and considerations relevant to social care. RDS support has generally been provided to health service researchers and clinicians working in the NHS and with patients. Jill identified the challenges of social care research as lying in the wide variety of providers, activities, personnel, outcomes and methodological traditions and preferences. While some would depict social care research as under-developed, she pointed to its major implications on the economy, policy and society and significant overlaps with health research interests.

Age an issue at election time
1 June 2017

The What Works Centre for Older People, the Centre for Ageing Better, held a General Election Debate this morning to which the Unit was invited. In a wide-ranging discussion the audience heard from CAB Chief Executive Anna Dixon that social care had finally ‘come of age.’ Lord Filkin noted the shocking fact that if you lived in Rutland you were likely to live 17 years longer than if you lived in Tower Hamlets. The panel were unanimous that ‘something’ had to be done, particularly about social care at the present and for the future; both in quality and quantity. It was particularly interested in which age groups would vote in the coming election and advised attention to this.

Improving child safety
1 June 2017

Mary Baginsky and Jill Manthorpe attended the launch of Professor Eileen Munro, Nancy Cartwright, Jeremy Hardie and Eleonora Montuschi’s new book ‘Improving Child Safety’ at the London School of Economics today. This edited volume addresses European perspectives on child protection. The book is downloadable on 




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